Pheasant Wood Military Cemetery, Fromelles

Fromelles Military Cemetery is a First World War cemetery built by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on the outskirts of Fromelles in northern France, near the Belgian border. Constructed between 2009 and 2010, it was the first new Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery for more than 50 years, the last such cemeteries having been built after the Second World War. The cemetery contains the graves of 250 British and Australian soldiers who died on 19 July 1916 in the Battle of Fromelles.The bodies were discovered following historical research that included analysis of aerial photographs showing the presence of mass graves on the edge of Pheasant Wood, just outside the village of Fromelles. The presence of the bodies was confirmed in May 2008, and the bodies were recovered during excavation work in 2009. A specially convened Identification Board published a report on 17 March 2010 announcing the first 75 bodies to have been successfully identified using DNA analysis. Further identification continued until at least 2014.In parallel with the recovery and identification projects, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission was asked by the British and Australian governments to construct a new cemetery to house the bodies. Building work on the cemetery began in May 2009, and the main structural elements were completed by January 2010. The dead soldiers were reburied with full military honours in a series of funeral services in January and February 2010. The ceremonial first reburial took place on 30 January 2010.
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Pheasant Wood Military Cemetery Reviews
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  • For the most under prepared Australian Division (5th) they were given the honour (or short stick) and thrown into the Battle of Fromelles July19th 2016 . My Grandfather, John Ernest , having enlisted ...  more »
  • A small museum, well set out with lots of information about the two day battle during the first world war. Very evocative.  more »
  • This is a great story, with Lambis Englezos' detective work to thank for finding the lost burial pits, governmental effort to exhume, identify and re-inter soldiers' remains, and local goodwill from t...  more »
  • A very special place for those of us interested in Australia's part in WW1. Very serene and quite moving. You should read more about how many of these soldiers were identified in the early 21st century
  • A very nice war cemetery. It holds the remains of the missing Australian soldiers who were recently (from 2008-2014) recovered from Pheasant Wood by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission after a lengthy archaeological search for the specific site of a mass battlefield grave dug by the Bavarian Soldiers in WWI. It is touching and meaningful to know that, close to 100 years later, people are still searching for these lost soldiers to give them a respectful, dignified, and individual final resting place. All of the casualties of that war became brothers in the grave. Lest we forget.
  • To be able to see the images displayed at this historic area where I have a family member buried, is inspiring and I that all the photographers that enabled me for the first time to see the surrounds of this beautiful little place that lives in our hearts.
  • The cemetery and memorial are part of a circuit that can be done by car or on foot. As in most of the other battles in which the British were involved, the massacre of Fromelles was completely useless. The objective is of secondary importance, the enemy being solidly prepared and open area gave no chance to the infantry.
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  • The cemetery at Fromelles was built only in 2009 for the Australian fallen of the 1st World War. It is located approximately 120 metres of a former mass grave for the dead of the battle of Fromelles. So far around 200 of the 250 remains could be identified using DNA analysis.
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